Tag Archives: queer

Books Acquired Recently

This is the rare Books Acquired Recently post where none of the books are queer or Mennonite 😮

Laymon, Kiese. How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: Essays. Rev. ed. New York: Scribner, 2020.

I love Laymon’s memoir Heavy, and thus have been meaning to get to this collection of essays, which was first published in 2013. When I saw that a revised version with new essays was out, I was like “it’s time,” and bought it immediately.

Londoño, Johana. Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

I got a promotional email about this book and ordered it a few weeks ago because Duke University Press is having a 50% off sale until next week. By the time the book arrived I forgot that I was waiting for it, so… maybe I buy too many books, haha. But I was very excited when it came and I look forward to reading it.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Not Exactly a Memoir. 2016. New York: Dutton, 2020.

I recently read Rosenthal’s Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and loved it, so I decided to buy this follow-up to it. One of the reasons I enjoyed Encyclopedia is that it was written when Rosenthal was about the age I am now, so it was interesting to read someone else’s thoughts about the beginning of middle age. I’m interested to see what a memoir dealing with the beginning of one’s fifties looks like so that I can start preparing myself.

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Books Acquired Recently: Just in Case Edition

I recently panic-ordered a bunch of books (several that have recently come out, several that have been on my list for a while) that might get censored if the Orange One stays in power, which thankfully looks like won’t happen! But it’s still necessary to read narratives by marginalized voices as an act of resistance against U.S. oligarchy.

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press, 2014.

Midori. The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage. N.p.: Greenery Press, 2001.

Miller, Evie Yoder. Loyalties. Scruples on the Line: A Fictional Series Set During the American Civil War, Book II. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2020.

This is not one of the books I panic-bought, although its subject matter is relevant to the current U.S. political divide. Miller sent me a copy as a thank-you for providing a blurb for it. It’s an excellent book, and I’m excited for the third part of the trilogy to come out next year!

Quesada, Uriel, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Cruz, eds. Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. 2004. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2005.

Sayrafiezadeh, Saïd. When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir. 2009. New York: Dial Press, 2010.

Stiehler, Elena, ed. The Best Small Fictions 2020. New York: Sonder Press, 2020.

My friend and colleague Suzanne Richardson has a fantastic piece in this anthology. Despite the “small” nature of its genre, the book is almost 400 pages long! Lots of good reading inside!

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Books Acquired Recently: Queer Writers with Last Names Beginning with “S” Edition

Sajé, Natasha. Terroir: Love, Out of Place. San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 2020.

Sajé was a colleague of mine when I did my post-doctoral fellowship at Westminster College. She was an important queer role model for me early in my career. I was very excited earlier this year when I heard that her memoir would be coming out, and pre-ordered it immediately. It came in the mail today.

Snow, Cassandra. Queering Your Craft: Witchcraft from the Margins. Newburyport, MA: Weiser Books, 2020.

I love Snow’s book Queering the Tarot. It has put her into the “I will buy any book this person writes” category, so I ordered Queering Your Craft as soon as it was available for pre-order even though I don’t really practice witchcraft. It also came today.

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Books Acquired Recently

Halberstam, Jack. Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

Halberstam is one of the most important queer theorists working today, so I bought his new book automatically. However, the subject matter also looks really fascinating.

Rickert, Bryan, ed. Bundled Wildflowers: Haiku Society of America 2020 Members’ Anthology. N.p.: Haiku Society of America, 2020.

As a member of the Haiku Society of America, I get a free copy of their yearly anthology. It arrived in the mail today. I have a poem in it: “yellow leaves / a new bank teller / every time” (28).

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Books Acquired Recently: Mostly Seanan McGuire Edition

Glück, Louise. American Originality: Essays on Poetry. 2017. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018.

I was very excited to have a poet win the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. I am not very familiar with Glück’s work, so I decided to buy a book of hers. While researching her work to decide what to buy, American Originality stood out. It came in the mail today.

Mason, Scott, ed. Gratitude in the Time of COVID-19: The Haiku Hecameron. Chappaqua, NY: Girasole Press, 2020.

Literature, and especially poetry, has been helping me survive the pandemic, and I am obsessed with work that is being produced about it as it happens. I recently received a notice about this pandemic-related haiku anthology (which is beautifully printed despite the rapidity of its production), and bought it immediately.

McGuire, Seanan. Beneath the Sugar Sky. New York: Tor, 2018.

—. Come Tumbling Down. New York: Tor, 2019.

—. Down Among the Sticks and Bones. New York: Tor, 2017.

—. In An Absent Dream. New York: Tor, 2019.

I recently taught the first book of McGuire’s Wayward Children series, Every Heart a Doorway, for the third or fourth time, and decided that it was finally time for me to read the rest of the series. I appreciate the way McGuire writes the queer characters in the first book, and look forward to seeing how she does so in the rest of the series.

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Books Acquired Recently

Dávila, Arlene. Latinx Art: Artists, Markets, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

I have enjoyed some of Dávila’s previous work in Latinx Studies, and know very little about Latinx art, so decided to buy this book to educate myself further.

Muñoz, José Esteban. The Sense of Brown. Edited by Joshua Chambers-Letson and Tavia Nyong’o. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

Muñoz is perhaps the most important theorist of queer Latinidad, an author whose work I automatically buy regardless of its subject. The Sense of Brown is his last book, published posthumously.

Swarstad Johnson, Julie, and Christopher Cokinos, eds. Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2020.

Swarstad Johnson has quickly established herself as an important Mennonite poet in the past few years, and thus I bought this book.

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Books Acquired Recently

Friesen, Patrick. Outlasting the Weather: Selected and New Poems 1994-2020. Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2020.

As I just wrote here, Patrick Friesen is one of the most important Mennonite writers ever. It is therefore very exciting that his second volume of Selected Poems is now out.

Lisicky, Paul. Later: My Life at the Edge of the World. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2020.

Lisicky came and read at Utica College a few years ago. He’s a nice guy, so I’ve read some of his work since then, and appreciate its unabashed queerness. Memoir Twitter is all abuzz about his new memoir, and it sounds fascinating, so I decided to buy it.

Miller, E. Ethelbert. If God Invented Baseball: Poems. Westport, CT: City Point Press, 2018.

Miller has an article in the latest issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. After reading it, I decided to look up his work. I was excited to discover that he has a poetry collection about baseball, and decided that it sounded like a good book to acquire as an introduction to his work.

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Books Acquired Recently

Garcia, Benjamin. Thrown in the Throat. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2020.

I am acquainted with Garcia, and pre-ordered a copy of this, his first poetry collection, a few months ago. It came in the mail this week. I started reading it immediately and it is excellent so far. It is unabashedly queer and Latinx, with a variety of styles that keeps readers on our toes.

Stansberry, Matt, and David Wilson. Rust Belt Arcana: Tarot and Natural History in the Exurban Wilds. Cleveland: Belt Publishing, 2018.

A friend who knows that I lived in the Midwest for a while and that I have been exploring tarot lately heard about this book and recommended it to me. It seems to be a book of personal essays connecting tarot to the Midwestern landscape. Place is also one of my scholarly interests, so I’m very excited to read the book.

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Sabbatical Productivity: June

I am on sabbatical until August and have been keeping a list in my journal of the academic activities I engage in. This practice is partly for myself, so that I make sure I am using the time productively, and partly for my institution, which requires me to write a report about the sabbatical once it finishes. Here is a list of what I accomplished in June, generally in chronological order. I did less than in some previous months (you can read about what I accomplished in May here) because I focused mostly on reading for a new writing project that I am beginning this week.

1. Updated the Mennonite/s Writing Bibliographies and blog throughout the month.

2. Peer reviewed a book in one of my fields for a university press.

3. Updated my website.

4. Was elected to the Sexual Minorities Archives‘s Board of Directors and worked on various tasks for it throughout the month.

5. Revised and submitted an essay about Mennonite speculative fiction for a special journal issue on Mennonite political theology.

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Books Acquired Recently

Bombardier, Cooper Lee. Pass with Care: Memoirs. New York: Dottir Press, 2020.

I first encountered Bombardier’s work in the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. His story there is fantastic, and I was excited to discover months ago on social media that he was coming out with a memoir. I pre-ordered it then and it arrived a few days ago.

Dunham, B. Mabel. Toward Sodom. Toronto: Macmillan, 1927.

I recently learned about Dunham and her path-breaking writing in the field of Mennonite literature. Her novel The Trail of the Conestoga might be the first Mennonite novel in English, and its sequel, Toward Sodom, might be the second. I was able to find a used copy of the latter online. It arrived in the mail today.

Zapruder, Matthew. Why Poetry. New York: Ecco, 2017.

As I mentioned in a recent post, “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of literature in apocalyptic times such as these. Reading poetry on a daily basis is helping me to survive emotionally. Therefore, I’ve been looking for texts related to this subject.” Acquiring Zapruder’s book is part of these explorations.

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